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  • Last modified 31 days ago (March 21, 2018)

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EMS chief submits resignation

Short-handed commission refuses to accept without Becker

Staff writer

The county will once again search for a new emergency medical director after Ed Debesis gave commissioners his resignation, effective June 1, at the end of Monday’s meeting.

Debesis, who had already spoken to commissioners in a scheduled agenda appearance, returned to the commission room at the end of Monday’s meeting and asked for an executive session to discuss personnel matters.

On return to open session, commission chairman Dianne Novak said she wished Debesis well in his career and moved to accept his resignation.

That motion died for lack of a second. Commissioner Randy Dallke refused to second the motion and commissioner Kent Becker was not present.

The matter of accepting the resignation will have to be taken up next week because of lack of a vote Monday.

After the meeting formally adjourned, Dallke angrily told Novak, “You know, Dianne, this is all your fault.”

Debesis was employed by Mitchell County EMS for 15 years, ending his time there in November 2014 after six years as director.

Before he accepted the position of interim EMS director in December 2015, Debesis worked for LifeTeam emergency medical service and he has continued with the air and ground ambulance company. With LifeTeam, Debesis works out of Newton.

Debesis was formally hired as department director in March 2016.

Contacted after the meeting for comment on what prompted his resignation, Debesis simply said, “I’m tired.”

News of Debesis’ resignation came as a shock to Hillsboro first responder and fire chief Ben Steketee.

“I’m shocked and unhappy,” Steketee said. “I think I understand why. He’s been swimming upstream since he came here. I think he’s made some very good changes because the level of care has been improved. It’s bad news for the EMS service in Marion County and it’s bad news for Ed.”

Lincolnville first responder and fire chief Lester Kaiser also expressed shock and dismay.

“I’m surprised, shocked, and saddened,” Kaiser said. “I think he’s made a number of changes. He’s done a very good job with Marion County EMS and I think he will be greatly missed. I think he was very good as a director and I think losing him is going to be a detriment to Marion County EMS.”

Peabody paramedic Larry Larsen said Debesis called his workers to inform them of his resignation.

“I think he’s done a magnificent job of pulling the county together as a unit,” Larsen said. “I think it’s a sad day for Marion County EMS if he does leave because he has done such a good job.”

Last modified March 21, 2018

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